Just last week I was talking with a foodie friend and I was saying that if I had 2000$ lying around I would so love a complete set of top notch knives. That would be such a wonderful dream. But I don’t and I make do with what I have which is the basic kit I bought when I moved out 12 years ago. It has always served me right. Over the years 3 knives have been added: 2 Global knives, a serrated utility and a paring one, and a ceramic knife. My Global knives were and improvement but still they are not top line. My ceramic one is very new.
My knives are in need of some serious sharpening. I have tried the sharpening stones on a cheap pocket knife and destroyed the blade…that is an art form. I have tried an “As Seen on TV” hand held sharpener….plastic broke on first try and it did not do a good job. I don’t have a budget that justifies a professional service. So when Cookware.com approached me about doing a review I decided to treat my knives to a face lift, or blade lift, by trying out the Chef’s Choice Pronto Diamond Hone® Manual Knife Sharpener.
A good knife sharpener will restores the 20 degree angle of kitchen knives. This model accomplishes that with 100% diamond abrasive wheels that are conically angled. Both sides of the knife are sharpened at the same time with a precise 20 degree angle. No guessing of the angle like with stones. The pronto has a 2 stage sharpening mechanism. The slot 1 creates and hones a sharp edge using fine diamond abrasives. The slot 2 uses micron size diamonds to ultra hone the edge of your knife. It provides the final sharpness.
I used the paper test to check my knife’s sharpness, before and after. A sharp blade should cut right through a piece of paper, where as a dull will tear IF it cuts the paper at all. My knives all failed this test. To sharpen hold down the handle with your left hand. The handle has a soft touch for a better grip and there are 4 rubber disks under the unit so it won’t slip of your table/counter. Always use the sharpener with the numbers 1 and 2 facing you, holding with your left hand. With the right hand you draw the knife in an ‘in and out’ motion according to the manual.
Each type of knife has specific instructions: smooth blade, serrated, or even Santoku knives. Santoku knives have a 15 degree angle so although you can use this sharpener there is one made specifically for them. I completed instructions for slot 1 and then slot 2 and took out the piece of paper again. This time the knife sliced nicely through the paper. I was really impressed at how fast and well it worked.
utility knife left – paring knife rightI now have a drawer full of refreshed knives and I can touch them up at any time. The compact size of the sharpener makes it easy to store as well in a drawer. This is totally worth the investments. A refreshment sharpening only needs to go through slot 2. To keep clean just wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth (no oiling required). Keep in mind this sharpener is not recommended for scissors, ceramic or single sided knives like Kataba knives.